Sourcing Serendipity

I had a serendipitous evening last night. My wife had invited a former metals trading colleague (who was visiting Chicago from Delhi) over for dinner. Being the hospitable Spend Management couple that we are, we also offered to also have his cousin over as well, given that he lived nearby to us in the city. Over pasta and homemade red sauce, we learned that his twenty-six year old cousin worked as a consultant at Deloitte. Immediately, we asked him which group he was a part of (my wife had worked there before starting her own direct materials sourcing firm).

His response, enterprise applications (which is my area of expertise), was not surprising, but his follow-up statement was: "I'm doing enterprise apps now, but I would do anything to get into the sourcing and supply chain group." A young, smart consultant wanting to get into sourcing and supply chain is a good sign in my book. And it turns out that one of the leaders of that group within Deloitte Chicago is a friend of ours. Our plan is now to connect our new friend to him, and hopefully he'll be able to make the transfer inside the firm.

Next, the conversation turned to FreeMarkets (my old haunt). It turns out that the cousin (prior to grad school) was not only interested in sourcing, but had previously bid as a supplier in a FreeMarkets event in India. But the Internet connections were so bad at the time, he actually had to drive 90 minutes to FreeMarkets’ offices in Delhi to ensure that he could bid in an event (even though I'm sure that a surrogate bid place over the phone would have worked).

Spend Management, Deloitte and FreeMarkets. What a coincidence (for someone we had never met prior to having him over for a completely random dinner). As he left our apartment for the evening, we could not help but think how small the Spend Management world was.

-Jason Busch

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